If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when I watch a movie, hate it, and then view the “making of” featurette and gain respect and a different perspective on it. That’s how I felt after watching the special features for “Nobody Gets Out Alive.” Can a bad film be saved by the pure motivations and sincerity of the filmmakers? I say no, but you can definitely feel for them and try to give them credit where credit is due.
It’s the same set-up we always get with any of the countless “Friday the 13th” or “Sleepaway Camp” movies we’ve all seen over the years. A group of young adults head out into the woods for a weekend of camping, partying, revelry, and debauchery. You know, “What happens in the woods stays in the woods.” Unfortunately, that’s all too true thanks to a killer who takes his tragic loss out on any and everyone who dares enter his territory.
“Nobody Gets Out Alive” is an hour and seventeen minutes long. That’s exactly one hour too long in my opinion. There’s absolutely nothing original about this movie. Sure, the killing scenes are a bit more graphic than what we get with the standard “Scream” or “I Know What You Did Last Summer” fare. I’ll admit that I did find a couple of them painful to watch. However, it doesn’t make up for the tedious retread we suffer through here.
Producer Deven Lobascio and writer / director / producer Jason Christopher set out to make an homage to the movies they grew up watching, and if you look at it strictly from that point of view, they were successful. It mimics everything from those movies. We’ve got the crazy killer; the sexually promiscuous couple who both die horrific deaths; the handicapped kid who you feel sorry for when he gets axed; and the virgin who survives at the end. The carnage never really ends, does it?
One of the elements about slasher films that I love is the mystery of who the killer is. Movies like “Scream,” “Urban Legend,” “Prom Night,” and even the newer “Sorority Row” come to mind. I probably would’ve given “Nobody Gets Out Alive” another star if the filmmakers kept this element a surprise here. Instead, they reveal who the killer is about 30 minutes into the film. To add insult to injury, it’s exactly who you would think it is. I would warn this is a spoiler, but it isn’t considering how the movie was made.
In the usual fashion of these types of indie horror films, we get a five-minute cameo from a familiar face in the genre. This time we get Clint Howard playing a doctor at the beginning of the movie before disappearing completely.
Special features for the DVD release include audio commentary, a “Making of” retrospective, and outtakes. Like I said earlier, the retrospective includes interviews with the filmmakers which show you their sincerity and make you wish the final product was better so you could offer them congratulations.
As it stands, “Nobody Gets Out Alive” is an hour and seventeen minutes of your life you’ll never get back. You would’ve been better served re-watching any of the great slashers you were introduced to in your youth. All we get here is a carbon copy of everything done before that will leave you wanting the real deal.
“Nobody Gets Out Alive” is available now on DVD and Digital Download.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Movie Review: “The Awakening”
Blu-ray Review: “TerrorVision / the Video Dead” Scream! Factory Double Feature
Blu-ray Review: “Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead”